In recent years, healthcare has become an integral part of the business ecosystem in India. Successful healthcare entrepreneurs are making valuable contributions to the economy. Medicircle presents a series on the top CEOs of the healthcare industry to showcase the contribution of influential role models and to bring forward their views about the future of the Indian healthcare ecosystem.
Neha Sinha is CEO and co-founder of Epoch Elder Care, which provides high-quality person-centred care for dementia and geriatric patients. She is a Clinical Psychologist and Dementia Specialist and has a burning passion for working for the elderly segment. Neha is committed to making a difference in the field of eldercare of our country.
Epoch Elder Care provides holistic, person-centred care that enables elders to have the highest quality of life. At Epoch, the team believes in focusing on the person as much as the clinical condition. Founded in 2012, Epoch has more than 8 years of relevant experience in India and follows evidence-based global best practices.
Pillars of Framework for the Elderly
Neha points out that, “There is not even a framework which is available for elderly care in our country. People have just begun thinking of a framework now. The main reason for this might be that elders in this country have always been the responsibility of their children. The government as such has not really taken this responsibility seriously. But now due to the shrinking family sizes and busier than ever schedules of the young, the elderly care segment requires sharp attention, starting from public infrastructure, to financial instruments, social coverage, medical and insurance facilities, housing, caregiving, and lastly skilling. We need to build a framework around these pillars and reach even to the grassroots level,” says Neha.
Elderly Care is Most Satisfying
Shedding light on her journey, Neha explains “Epoch Elder Care initially started off with the simple service of providing intellectual companionship by just visiting homes and giving company to the elders who suffered from loneliness due to busy schedules of everyone around them or children staying in another place. We quickly realized that there is much more to be done with elders as families are nuclear, more and more women are working and grandchildren are busier. Added to this, longevity has increased leaving the elderly people lonely for a good number of their lives. Combining all these factors together we got bound to look for solutions and started off as homecare service providers. Then we realized that seniors need specialized care as well. While there are several options for providing services at home it's much difficult to provide services for life-long problems like chronic conditions or dementia. This requires specialization and there are negligible options because of the scarcity of trained people at home and the fact that one cannot admit elders to a nursing home or hospital forever. So, Epoch stepped in to fill the gap and now looks after a very niche segment of elders who need specialized care. It's been a very challenging but fulfilling journey. Just to educate and spread awareness about this segment has been the biggest part of the journey,” narrates Neha.
Healthcare is Human to Human and Technology Enables It
Neha emphasizes that with Covid19, there has been the biggest change in the mindset across age groups. Remote monitoring and telehealth, telemedicine, etc. have helped in adding efficiency to the human touch. Diagnostics, online payments, etc. are examples of how technology has simplified life. Not losing on human touch, Epoch keeps pace with all technological tools to provide the best elderly care.
India Needs a Generous Amount of Spending in the Elderly Healthcare Sector
Neha, observes, “Many countries are doing more for their elderly care in comparison to India. We have lots of loopholes, and gaps in our infrastructure and the public healthcare system. So, our government needs to invest more, or at least there can be public-private partnerships as the privatization of health care is showing good results. Hence, the government just needs to find good collaborations and build on these partnerships and of course, budget allocation needs to improve” points out Neha.
(Edited by Amrita Priya)